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Fifth Rape Attempt Terrifies Women In Walnut Creek

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Park Regency Apartments in Walnut Creek. (CBS)

Park Regency Apartments in Walnut Creek. (CBS)

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WALNUT CREEK (KCBS) – Some women living in an apartment complex in unincorporated Walnut Creek say they feel like captives in their own homes after a  fifth woman was attacked at a complex that has been plagued by rapes and attempted sexual assaults since June.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported assault at the Park Regency apartment complex on the 3100 block of Oak Road in unincorporated Walnut Creek on Saturday evening, according to Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The victim, a 43-year-old resident of the complex, was leaving her apartment when she was grabbed from behind by the suspect, who tried to force her back into her home, Lee said. The woman struggled with her attacker and was able to run away from the suspect, but fell down some stairs when she fled, Lee said. Lee added that the suspect had fled the scene when deputies arrived.

Melody Payne, who lives a few doors down from the victim, says she has been having anxiety attacks every day, and would like to get out of her lease, but apartment management won’t let her. Another tenant, Whitney Baca, who’s lived at the Park Regency for four years says she’s thinking about buying pepper spray, but she’s not sure how to use it.

“It’s just disgusting that I can’t come to my own home and feel safe,” Baca said.

The suspect in Saturday’s attack is described as a white man who is approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall and has a medium build, brown hair, and facial hair, Lee said. He was wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt, and a black baseball cap, Lee said.

Lee said it is unknown if this man is the same suspect that is being sought for another attack in the gated Park Regency complex that occurred on September 16 in which a 27-year-old resident was sexually assaulted inside her apartment.

The suspect in the September attack was described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old who was 6 feet tall and had a full beard, according to deputies.

Three other sexual assaults took place at this apartment complex on June 30, July 6, and August 10 of this year. Two of the victimized women in those attacks were able to fend off their assailant by fighting back, but one 23-year-old woman was raped inside her home.

The sheriff’s office arrested a man suspected of committing the attacks, 22-year-old Antonio Andre Mouton of Berkeley, on August 10. They have said DNA evidence links Mouton to all of the first three attacks.

On August 26, Mouton pleaded not guilty to the one count of rape, two counts of attempted rape, and three counts of burglary with which he is charged and which could land him in prison for 25 years to life, according to the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office.

Anyone with information about Saturday’s attempted assault at the apartment complex is encouraged to call the Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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